We are now more than a year into the pandemic. Our lives have changed significantly throughout the last year and more. The pandemic impacted everyone in some way. The impacts could have been anything from catching the virus, inability to receive timely medical care, loss of jobs, and working remotely.
In many areas of impact, such as health, healthcare, education, and more, lower-income households tended to be more impacted than those with better financial conditions. Housing conditions we’re another area where the pandemic impacted lower-income Americans more than others. In an article on Zumper, as of March 2021, an estimated 33 billion dollars was owed in back rent by 6 million Americans. This debt equates to an average of about $5,300 per person owed in back rent.
In the United States, when people think of Connecticut, they often think Connecticut is a wealthy state. However, that could not be further from the truth. For example, New London County is relatively affluent, but New London County and Windham County are not. Therefore, if you live in Connecticut, it is often referred to as the poor side being east of the river and the wealthy side west of the river, with the river being the Connecticut River.
When the Biden Administration took office, they passed the American Rescue Plan, and a portion of that plan sent 21.6 billion dollars to cities to cover back rent and utilities. However, that funding did not cover all financing needed. So there is likely to be a continuing deficit going forward. At this time, there is a moratorium until the end of June 2021. After June 2021, we will probably see a surge in evictions.
When the pandemic hit, the Labor Market immediately entered a recession. As a result, housing rentals became more expensive In cities where rents were previously relatively inexpensive. Conversely, in cities where rent was expensive, those rates tended to decrease. Before this pandemic, the norm was for rents to increase with no relationship to income. After the pandemic hit, the relationship between income and housing cost changed.
Housing Affordability In Connecticut
At this time, we will discuss housing affordability in Connecticut in 2020. in this discussion, we will compare New London County versus New Haven County.
New London County
In New London County, medium one-bedroom rental was $1,000 in 2020, a 6.6% decrease over 2019 rental costs. The median household income in New London County is $75,633, and their population is 265,000 206. Therefore, new London County is classified as a medium metro area.
New London County also is home to 2 significant casinos—Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods.
The city of Norwich is in New London County And is incredibly diverse. In 2020 Norwich Public Schools add students whose primary language was one of 35 non-English languages. They have a 100% free and reduced rate, approximately 6000 students, and more than 100 homeless students each year. In terms of wealth relative to other districts in the state, Norwich public schools ranked 160 out of 169 school districts, with 169 being the poorest.
Norwich Connecticut is a gorgeous city to live in with historic homes and many great amenities. Rentals in Norwich have decreased throughout the pandemic, and you can find the latest rentals available in Norwich on Zumper.
New Haven County
In neighboring New Haven County, medium one-bedroom rental was $1,350 in 2020, a 5.9% increase over 2019 rental costs. The median household income in New Haven County is $75,633, and their population is 265,000 206. Therefore, new London County is classified as a medium metro area.
2020 Housing Summary
New Haven County does have a higher household income than New London County, and the correlation between household income and rental costs is evident.